Unfortunately, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. A lot of times I will plan on putting something on the blog and after making it decide that it is just not tasty enough to share. After all, I am putting my personal endorsement on all the items on here, and I don’t want to lose your trust. Other times I will make something that is delicious but so un-photogenic that I can’t seem to get a nice picture of it, and I don’t want get some kind of ugly photograph reputation. Well in an effort to worry less about the small stuff, I decided to post this recipe even though my camera was just not cooperating with me. It should tell you something that I thought it was special enough to share even without a perfect picture.
I would describe this as a comfort food dinner. It’s especially handy to have in the recipe repertoire because it uses ingredients that I can store in my pantry or usually have on hand. I thought it was just going to turn out like a bunch of flour tortillas layered with beans, but something magical happens in the baking process. The cheese melts and the tortillas soften, and the whole thing solidifies into a concoction that actually does seem like a pie. For some reason I didn’t think about the fact that there is a lot of food going into this “pie” and it is way more than John and I could even try to eat. This is a filling pie, so I’m definitely adding it to my list of good dinners to make for company.
Speaking of company (such a sly transition :-)), last weekend our family got together to celebrate my Grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. They have certainly started a wonderful family to be a part of! Here’s a picture from our weekend:
Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!
Bean and Tortilla Pie
Makes: 6-8 servings
- 4 9-inch flour tortillas
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 t. ground cumin
- 1/2 t. chili powder
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- 2 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water (or you can use beer if you didn’t drink what was in your fridge)
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1 – 15 oz can refried beans, warmed to spreading consistency
- 2 cups frozen corn (about 10 oz)
- 4 scallions, thinly slices plus more for garnish
- 2 1/2 cups mexican style shredded cheese
- Garnish: Scallions, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, black olives
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a large saucepan heat oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes.
3. Add in the black beans, scallions, salsa and water, and stir until well mixed. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low to simmer. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until most of the water has evaporated.
5. Lay a flour tortilla in the bottom of a 9-inch springfoam pan. Spread the tortilla with about 3 T. of refried beans. Then continue layering by spreading about 1 cup of bean mixture on top of the refried beans. Top the layer with 1/2 a cup of shredded cheese.
6. Repeat this layering with the 3 remaining tortillas. On the top layer, cover the beans generously with cheese.
7. Bake the “pie” for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove the sides from the springfoam pan, and top with garnishes of choice. Slice into wedges and serve warm.
Slightly Adapted from The Curvy Carrot
When John and I took a trip out to New Mexico over spring break, in addition to skiing, hiking and visiting with my in-laws, we got to try this great restaurant called Graham’s Grill. (Side Note: it’s pretty nice to have parents-in-law that both happen to live in vacation spots :-)). The restaurant combines the traditional flavors of the southwest but puts it’s own unique spin on them. The chef, Lesley B. Fay recently came out with a cookbook called Straight From the Heart, and my mother-in-law was nice enough to surprise me at the end of the meal with my very own copy. I have looked through the cookbook so many times trying to decide what to make but I finally decided that I couldn’t pass up a recipe combining 2 of America’s greatest inventions – S’mores and Nachos. (Another side note: I used to think nachos were from Mexico – then I went there in college and searched every restaurant menu for them only to find out that they don’t actually serve nachos in Mexico… definitely an American creation.)
The original recipe called for deep frying tortillas, but after my recent frying disaster, I chose to make them in the oven instead . It was actually a good reinforcement that never again do I need to fry anything, because the “chips” still came out crisp and delicious without having to mess with hot oil. In fact, I think cinnamon-sugar chips would be a pretty great snack on their own – so next time I will likely make a double batch. The recipe itself is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll have to say Lesley must be some kind of genius for thinking up the idea of “S’more nachos” in the first place! If you really want to go crazy, you could try using ice cream as a dip for these nachos. I’m sure this would be fabulous – warm cinnamon chips against cool ice cream – but you might have to skip dinner all together if you want to try that. So if you don’t have the pleasure of a campfire this Fourth of July, make this instead….It’s definitely easier than building a fire ;-).
For the chips:
- 6-8 small (6 inch) flour tortillas
- 3 T. melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 T. cinnamon
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a dish. Using a pastry brush, spread melted butter onto both sides of the tortillas. Sprinkle 1 side of each tortilla with a covering of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Using a kitchen scissors (or knife), cut each tortilla into 8-10 triangles. Without overlapping, place triangles sugar side up on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges turn up.
Remove chips from oven and combine into a pile on a small baking sheet or oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and marshmallows. Turn the oven on broil, and place the baking sheet on the middle rack (too close to the heat will catch your marshmallows on fire). Watch carefully until the marshmallows are browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving dish and drizzle chocolate syrup over the chips. Serve warm.
And the Aftermath:
– Nachos Adapted from from Straight From the Heart by Lesley B. Fay.
– Cinnamon Chips adapted from Our Best Bites